Friday, October 29, 2010

The Return of Stretch Marx


I haven't forgotten the website, oh no! In fact, tonight I uploaded a truckload of old Sparkling Apple photos to the "Stringbean Years" section, back when we had VERY long hair. Several of the newer photos show us at the Port Coquitlam Rec Centre in 1975, along with a couple of photos of us at Ian's Cabaret in Nanaimo in 1976. What was interesting about Ian's was that it was an old mansion on the Island Highway, and each week's band would be given accommodations in the upstairs bedrooms. Getting to the gig was just a matter of coming downstairs to the nightclub, rather than having to drive miles in the dark (and yes, we've done that one, too).

Also very telling are some photos from a 1976 soundcheck at Alta Lake Lodge in Whistler (LONG before it became a world-class ski resort). The lodge itself was a 150-seat room, but we're shown putting our HUGE new Sunn amps through their paces. No wonder I'm deaf now! Sheesh!
By the way, this is one of the only photos in existence of the One and Only Rocky Bongo in action (at the Answer nightclub in Chilliwack, BC, December 1977).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Young Fresh Fellows

More old newspaper clippings and ads have been added to the Clipping and Posters section of the Sparkling Apple websiteMost of the old ads are definitely vintage, with misspellings and 70s-specific information typical of that era. "They're fun, they're exciting... (or should that have been EXITING!), and "there'll be a Sparkling time at the Rail Cabaret."  I mean, PLEASE! Jeez, I remember 70s newspaper advertising used to consist of "dance and drink to the solid rock sounds of..." Yikes!

The poster for the 1976 OG Boogie is particularly interesting in that the promoter -- a Charlie Manson-lookalike if ever there was one -- absconded with the gate receipts after the Saturday night show! If memory serves, Sparkling Apple did play on Saturday, as well as Ram and Mother's Creation (the drummer later joined the K-Tels!). No bands played for the Sunday show, though, due in part to the fact that there was now no money for payment, and secondly because of the rainstorm. Actually the one band that did play on Sunday at that festival was Joe Staples and his band, Midnite City. Joe played with us in 2010 at the Donegal's reunion -- it comes full circle, doesn't it?


What was the Buddy Holly song... "Reminiscing"? Yeah!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Leaving Comments on the Blog!

Not sure if you folks knew about this, but to post a comment on the blog, just click on the "xx Comments" link at the bottom right of each blog post. That way I can hear from you!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Interview with Gary Taylor

"New" video from 1979 has now been posted on our website! (When you're at the video page of the Sparkling Apple website, scroll down, because it's the last video at the bottom of the page.) In this blast from the distant and dissonant past, Gary Taylor, owner of Gary Taylor's Rock Room in Vancouver, interviews Sparkling Apple, one of the bands who played at his nightclub. All present are completely sh*tfaced for the benefit of Internet users viewing this video on YouTube thirty-one years in the future! This was taped immediately following the filming of the videos for "It's Criminal" and "Never Gonna Kiss You Bye Bye", which were recorded just steps away from where Gary is interviewing us. Now all I've got to do is find the video of Sparkling Apple performing on "the Vancouver Show" (with Pia Shandel and Mike Winlaw) back in 1976!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Meet the Press

I've just added to the Sparkling Apple website (a glorified online scrapbook, if nothing else) with some newspaper clippings and media coverage from the Neanderthal period. Click on "Clippings 1" to see some compelling examples of 80s journalism. (I decided not to use the category "Press", because some folks might press on their computer screen to see what happens!)

 Love Tom Harrison's article stating "Sparkling Apple's most endearing quality is that it does not take itself seriously..."! Some of the articles appeared in such diverse publications as the Georgia Straight, The Province, The Vancouver Free Press, The Vancouver Courier, and will be updated as long as my scanner holds out.

Poster World

The Sparkling Apple website is continually "Under Construction", being as how it's a work in process. Just yesterday I've started adding vintage band posters, and shortly there will be a "Press" section featuring old newspaper clippings and advertisements. As they say, "stay tuned"!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh what fun it is to ride!

Truth be told, I'm not exactly an HTML/Dreamweaver-type web designer where I write my own code! Far from it: our Sparkling Apple website is created and updated via iWeb, part of the Apple "iLife 09" software. But it works for me so far, and does what it's supposed to do.

Speaking of which, the music video for "Never Gonna Kiss You Bye Bye" has now been posted to the website (www.sparklingapple.ca), although we must advise that the sound quality is not up to 21st Century standards. Probably if I was using Final Cut Pro or some professional audio editing software, I could clean up the sound on this particular video, but in the interest of "historical perspective", the video is presented as-is, warts and all. In any case, this video is somewhat of a historical document!

It should also be mentioned that "It's Criminal" and "Never Gonna Kiss You Bye Bye" (Side A and Side B of our then-current single on RadioActive Records) were both written by Buzz Constantly, who coincidentally is lead vocalist on both videos.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's Criminal music video unearthed

In the spirit of a world-class archeological expedition, the video for "It's Criminal" has been unearthed after languishing in Colin's basement for 31 years! Yes, this video is now viewable on www.sparklingapple.ca, as well as on YouTube. The audio on the original tape was sucessfully substituted with a board tape recorded by Ding himself, and although the video certainly shows its age, the audio is none too shabby. Hey, "just like the record"!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

DVD is ready!

Hello everyone! In the last post I mentioned that I was arranging for an old Sparkling Apple U-Matic videocassette tape (from December 19, 1979 at Gary Taylor's Rock Room, no less!) to be burned to DVD. I picked it up from Deena Media on Saturday, and considering the tape has been sitting in my basement for 30 years, it doesn't look too bad at all -- was our hair long or what?? Also, considering the original tape was produced with 70s technology, the results are better than what I expected. Now because the cassette had been stored for so long, there was the inevitable stretching of the tape problem, which shows up on the DVD as horizontal lines at the top of the screen. After a while, though, you do get used to it and assume it's some sort of special FX! Har har!

In any event, the sound quality is poor, due once again to ancient technology. Fortunately, I do have a board tape of the exact same night, so I will attempt to sync the sound on a couple of tracks and then post the videos to YouTube. Of course, the videos will also be viewable on our website as well.

In other news...

I've finally completed creating a DVD of selected songs from our reunion concert. Once I've made a nice looking cover, I will offer this DVD to anyone who would like one -- anyone interested? All you Sparkling Apple followers (the Apple Corps), let me know!

Talk at ya later,
Colin (Captain Maniac)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sparkling Apple DVD

As I mentioned a few posts ago, Rick Mearns filmed our Sept. 18/2010 show at Donegals. The raw videos ended up on three DVDs, but I am currently in the process of creatimg a one-disc "highlights" DVD. I'm a Mac guy, so I'm using iMovie 09 to create the actual video, and iDVD 09 to burn the movie to disc. Kind of a challenging and steeper-than-expected learning curve, although the final product should look great.

And that brings me to a Sparkling Apple online offer...

If any readers are interested in a "Sparkling Apple 2010: Live at Donegal's" DVD, let me know on this blog, and assuming there is sufficient interest, I may make this DVD commercially available. If there's no interest, I at least have my own memories of the event!

Still waiting on Deena Media to see if they've completed our Gary Taylor's 79 DVD. I will phone them on the weekend.

By the way, thanks to Woody for lending me his minidisc of the previously-mentioned Sept. 18/2010 show at Donegals. I have now made a double-CD from this material, and the above offer also holds:

If any readers are interested in a "Sparkling Apple 2010: Live at Donegal's" CD, let me know on this blog, and assuming there is sufficient interest, I may make this CD available online. If there's no interest, I at least have my own memories of the event!

Talk at ya later,
Colin

Friday, October 1, 2010

Videos update

After doing a Google search, I found a business called "Deena Media", who will convert my U-Matic cassettes onto DVD. I have two cassettes, so they will make two DVDs for me. After researching other local companies, Deena's price sounds competitive. I phoned them today, and the producer will be in the office all day tomorrow (Saturday). Sounds like that's the ticket!